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1 September 2015

Stevenson Encourages Farmers to Apply for £38m Funding

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, is encouraging farmers to apply for a share of £38.8 million funding to support beef and inland sheep.
The Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme replaces the old Scottish Beef Scheme and will reward farmers for calves born on, or after December 2, 2014. The Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme is new and will provide support to help maintain flocks in some of the most challenging agricultural land in Scotland.

Mr Stevenson said:

“Scotch beef and lamb are prime products that are in demand all over the world, and following a challenging summer for farmers, these two new schemes will provide a welcome support for a vital part of the farming industry.

“Farming and crofting communities are vitally important and I hope the Upland Sheep Support scheme will help maintain employment, particularly during harsher times.

“I would urge farmers to make sure applications for these new schemes are submitted in plenty of time, and make the most of the money available to them.”

The Scottish beef sector accounts for 22 per cent of Scottish agricultural output over the last 10 years, with beef production being the largest agricultural sector in Scotland. The sector has 11,400 employees on beef cattle holdings, and meat from beef suckler herds is highly valued due to its high marbling factor.

Sheep farming is a key agricultural use of rough grazing, with 8800 employed on specialist sheep holdings in Scotland. In 2011, specialist sheep businesses in the LFA (Less Favoured Areas) accounted for 20 per cent of Scotland’s SFP recipients and 6 per of total direct payments.
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